ILNA Renewal Information

The Individual Learning Needs Assessment (ILNA) is the cornerstone of the primary certification renewal method used by ONCC - Option 1 (Professional development points). It combines an assessment of current knowledge with completion of professional development activities. This method helps ensure that every certified nurse has current knowledge in the subject areas represented by the credential.

Here is how it works. A certified nurse takes a learning needs assessment based on the current test content outline before starting to prepare for renewal. The assessment identifies the nurse's knowledge strengths and weaknesses. The nurse completes professional development activities to strengthen his/her knowledge. Completing these activities earns points for certification renewal. 

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When to Take the Assessment

Each time you renew by Option 1 (Professional development points) you need to take the assessment before you can earn points for your next renewal. For example: if you renew certification by Option 1 in 2019, you must take the assessment before you can earn points for renewal in 2023. ONCC sends you an email when you are eligible to take the assessment - usually within a few weeks of receiving your certificate packet.

Continuing education completed before taking the assessment cannot be used for renewal points. Note - if you are renewing certification for the first time after passing a test you do not take the assessment. Use your test score report to identify renewal requirements.  (AOCN®, AOCNS® and CPON® certified nurses do not take an assessment). 

The assessment is not on this website. Please check your email for a message from with the subject line "Authorization to Assess". Please contact ONCC if you would like to have your Authorization resent. The assessment is free - you do not have to register for it.


Taking the Assessment

  • Allow 2 hours for the assessment. It is timed and must be completed in one session. You cannot exit the assessment.
  • Take the assessment alone and in a quiet place where you won't be interrupted. 
  • Technical Requirements: The assessment must be completed on a computer, tablet, or mobile device with a stable internet connection using the latest version of Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari, or Firefox. You must have the "cookies enabled" feature set on the browser.

Find out what to expect when taking the assessment.


ILNA Points

Option 1 Renewal allows you to earn points for certification renewal by completing professional development activities, such as continuing nursing education (CNE), continuing medical education (CME), academic education, publications or presentations. You are not required to complete specific type of activity.

You will use an online tool, LearningBuilder, to record and submit your renewal points. ONCC will notify you when you can access LearningBuilder. Keep documentation of the points you earn, such as CE certificates, detailed program descriptions, or grade reports with your test score report or assessment results so you can access the information easily when entering points in LearningBuilder.

Time Period to Earn ILNA Points (Accrual Period)

  • Candidates renewing certification for the second or subsequent time after testing must take the assessment before earning points for renewal. Points may be earned until the date you submit your renewal application and learning plan. Your application and learning plan must be submitted by the final renewal application deadline date. That means All points must be earned by the final renewal application deadline.
  • Candidates renewing certification for the first time after testing may submit points earned from the date they pass the test through the date the renewal application and learning plan are submitted. All points must be earned by the final renewal application deadline.
  • AOCN® and CPON® renewal candidates may submit points earned since their last renewal. (AOCN®, AOCNS® and CPON® renewal candidates do not take an assessment.)
  • If you are eligible to take the assessment, but do not do so, you may renew certification by submitting 100 points that exactly match the subject areas and weighting of the current test content outline. If submitting 100 points that match the test content outline, points may be earned from January 1 of the current certification period through the date the application is submitted. All points must be earned by the final renewal application deadline. Contact ONCC to have a 100-point plan created for you in LearningBuilder.

ILNA Point Categories

Continuing Education (Continuing Nursing Education & Continuing Medical Education)

  • Points Awarded: 1 contact hour = 1 ILNA point
  • CE programs must have been provided by or formally approved for contact hours by an accredited approver of continuing nursing education or continuing medical education. Points are awarded for completing an eligible educational activity one time during the accrual period. No points are awarded for completing the same activity (with the same content) more than once during the accrual period.
  • Records to Keep: Keep the CE certificate awarded by the provider. The certificate must include an accreditation statement or provider number, your name, the title and date of the CE offering, and the number of contact hours awarded. Keep the program outline or other material that describes the program content. You may be requested to provide documentation for specific ILNA points claimed.

Academic Education

  • Points Awarded: 1 academic credit = 15 ILNA points
  • Points are awarded for completing academic courses that address the subject area(s) acceptable for ILNA points as identified by the learning needs assessment or test score report. These may include courses required for a nursing major, or other courses that address the biopsychosocial knowledge base of professional human service. You do not have to be enrolled in a degree program. Courses must be provided by accredited colleges or universities. A grade of "C" or higher must be achieved for each course.
  • Records to Keep: Keep a copy of the grade report(s) and course description(s) provided by the school for each course completed. Transcripts may be submitted in place of grade reports. The grade report or transcript must include the your name, title of the course(s), date the course(s) attended, and the grade(s) earned. If your application is selected for audit, you will be required to provide this documentation.

Professional Publications

  • Points are awarded for items published in books, journals, professional newsletters, or electronic media (e.g., Internet, CD, video) for which you were an author, editor, or peer reviewer. Only publications of content that address the specific subject area(s) identified by the learning needs assessment or test score report are acceptable. Points are not awarded for materials that are "in press."
  • Records to Keep: Keep a copy of each publication. If your application is selected for audit, you will be required to submit a copy of short publications or a copy of the title page, the page showing the date of publication, and table of contents where your name is listed as an author for longer publications.
  • Points Awarded: Points for joint authorship are determined by dividing the total number of points for the publication by the number of authors.
    • Book, author or editor (300 pages or more) – 60 points
    • Book, author or editor (less than 300 pages) – 40 points
    • Book chapter (more than 15 pages) – 25 points
    • Book chapter (15 pages or less) – 20 points
    • Doctoral dissertation – 10 points
    • Master's thesis, unpublished – 10 points
    • Original research article, peer-reviewed journal, lead author – 20 points
    • Original research article, peer-reviewed journal, co-author – 15 points
    • Original journal article, peer-reviewed journal, lead author – 15 points
    • Original journal article, peer-reviewed journal, co-author – 10 points
    • Guest editor for journal issue – 20 points
    • Article, non-peer reviewed journal, any medium – 5 points
    • Journal column – 5 points
    • Editorial in peer-reviewed journal – 5 points
    • Book review – 5 points
    • Multimedia Educational aids  5-10 points (depending on length and content)
    • Research abstract – 5 points
    • Article in newsletter or magazine, more than 1000 words – 5 points
    • Article in newsletter or magazine, 250-1000 words – 3 points
    • Journal reviewer – 1 point per article
    • Editorial board member – 1 point per column edited


  • Points are awarded for educational presentations made to nurses, healthcare providers, or the public. The presentation must be delivered within a structured framework of teaching/learning. The presentation content must address a subject area(s) on the learning needs assessment or test score report. Presentations or lectures that are part of your job expectations may not be submitted for points (i.e., presentations made to institution staff by a staff educator).
  • Points Awarded: 1 hour of presentation = 3 points; Poster presentation = 3 ILNA points. Points are awarded only for the first time a presentation/poster is given. No points are awarded for repeat presentations of the same material. Note: In the case of multiple presenters, you may claim points only for your portion of the presentation. For example, if 3 nurses present a 1-hour panel discussion, each nurse may claim one point.
  • Records to Keep: Keep a copy of the program(s) or proceeding(s) that list your name as a presenter and the title, date, and length of your presentation(s). If your application is selected for audit, you will be required to submit copies of this documentation.

Applying ILNA Points to your learning plan

ILNA Subject Areas & Points for Commonly Used CE – identifies the points/subject areas for some popular online CE offerings.

ILNA Categories & Points for Conferences and Events – identifies the points/subject areas for some CE conferences.

Note: You may earn points from programs offered by a variety of accredited providers of nursing CE. You are not required to earn points from any specific provider.

You may complete CE programs that don't indicate the ILNA points for the content. Test Content Outlines & Keywords can help you determine the subject area where a program may be applied. Check out these Test Content Outlines & Keywords

How to apply your CE points to your Learning Plan

First, look at the course title, content description, and the objectives/learning outcomes. Then ask yourself these questions:

What is this offering generally about a high level? For example: is it about treatment? Survivorship? Screening? Decide what an offering is about at a high-level, then look for that concept on your credential’s content outline (i.e., Test Blueprint). The major subject areas are broad—look at the subtopics listed within each. For example: consider a program about nursing ethics. On the OCN® content outline, ethics is a subtopic in the subject area of Professional Performance. Points for completing a program on ethics would apply in Professional Performance.

How many points can I claim? One contact hour of CE equals one ILNA point. That means a program that awards 2 contact hours is worth 2 ILNA Points.

Choose one subject area for programs of 4 points or lessthan one subject? Many CE offerings cover multiple topics. If the program is 4 contact hours or less, choose one of  reasonably related subject area and apply points to it.

If the offering is worth more than 4 contact hours, estimate the amount of content in each subject area. For example: a 6 contact hour program may cover treatment and symptom management. If two-thirds of the program is about treatment, and one-third is about symptom management, apply 4 points to treatment, and 2 points to symptom management. Use your good nursing judgment.

Chapters and CE Providers
If you offer a CE worth more than 4 contact hours, you can ask ONCC to review your coding. It's not necessary to request coding for programs that are 4 hours or less – use your nursing judgment and apply all of the points for programs of 4 hours or less to any one reasonably related subject area. Ask ONCC to code/review your coding of programs greater than 4 hours.

Where to Find CE When considering a program, look for a statement that the program has been approved for CE credit by an acceptable approver or provider. You can find accredited CE resources on the Continuing Education section.

Do you offer CE programs?

Your programs may be more appealing if nurses know how they can be used for ILNA points.

ONS & APHON Chapters: Request ILNA Coding Services for your Chapter.

CE Providers: Learn about ILNA Coding for CE Providers.

Where Do My Certification Renewal Points Fit? How to know where they go from ONCC Certification on Vimeo.

What is LearningBuilder?

LearningBuilder is the online system for recording and submitting ILNA points. Your learning plan for renewal is reflected in your LearningBuilder account. You are given access to LearningBuilder after you take the assessment or pass a certification test. ONCC will email you when you can access LearningBuilder. You’ll sign in using your Profile username and password.

User’s Guide to LearningBuilder – view this handy reference for entering points in LearningBuilder.

Test Content Outlines (Blueprints) – Review the certification test content outline to identify topics that qualify for points in specific subject areas

AOCN®, AOCNS® & CPON® Renewal Candidates
You will not take an assessment, but must submit points in LearningBuilder.

  • AOCN® candidates must submit 50 points in adult oncology.
  • AOCNS® candidates must complete the number of points on their current learning plan. Future renewals will require 50 points in adult oncology.
  • CPON® candidates must submit 50 points in pediatric oncology.

When you can access LearningBuilder
ONCC will send you an email notifying that you have access to LearningBuilder. Here’s when you can access LearningBuilder, the online tracking tool for renewal points.

Pass an ONCC Test in You can access LearningBuilder
February March 15
March April 15
April May 15
May June 15
June July 15
July August 15
August September 15
September October 15
October November 15
November December 15
December January 15